One of the greatest games ever to be played would later come to be known as one of the last for the Manchester United team.
Five days after the match, the history of the team would be changed forever.
On their way back from Yugoslavia, flight 406 of the British Airways carrying the then called “Busby Babes”, some crew, and journalists crashed in Munich. 20 of the 44 people on board were killed instantly; three more passed away in the hospital.
It was one of the worse tragedies to ever occur in football.
Ironically, there was absolutely no trace of the gloomy fate that was to embrace the United side during the match against their rivals Arsenal.
On-fire Manchester United had the first word in the match. K. Morgans rushed on the left flank, defeating the Arsenal full-back, and found Duncan Edwards on the edge of the box. The Englishman, born in Dudley, left no chance for Arsenal’s goal keeper J.Kelsey, putting a thunderous shot in and out of his reach.
Future football legend-to-be Bobby Charlton doubled the lead 20 minutes later, and Tommy Taylor seemed to have inflicted the final blow on the Gunners, 3-0 at half-time.
The Red Devils performed one of the most inspiring first halves ever. In fact, it was so inspiring that they managed to inspire their opposition. Arsenal fought back.
Ten minutes after the break, David Herd, a footballer who had 97 goals for Arsenal and, strangely enough, 114 for Manchester United throughout his career, pulled one back for the Gunners. Striker Jimmy Bloomfield followed suit and scored two more, astonishingly bringing the score to a level.
By then, the spectators were roaring with joy.
But the “Busby Babies” were not done. Reacting as if stung by a bee, they took the lead again by a well-executed B.Viollet’s header. Later on, Tommy Taylor doubled his tally putting the result almost out of Arsenal’s reach, 5-3.
Arsenal was on a different wavelength though. They were still refusing to call it a day. Derek Tapscott signaled Arsenal’s intentions to fight back and, once again, decreased Manchester United’s lead to one.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, there was not enough time for more, and the match ended at 4-5.
Five days later a dark stamp was put on Manchester United’s history.
Among the people who did not survive the Munich Air Disaster were Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, and Mark Jones.